photography

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Leica’s Q2 is a beautiful camera that I want and will never have

Leica is a brand I respect and appreciate but don’t support. Or rather, can’t, because I’m not fabulously rich. But if I did have $5,000 to spend on a fixed-lens camera, I’d probably get the new Q2, a significant improvement over 2015’s Q — which tempted me back then.

The Q2 keeps much of what made the Q great: a full-frame sensor, a fabulous 28mm F/1.7 Summilux lens, and straightforward operation focused on getting the shot. But it also makes some major changes that make the Q2 a far more competitive camera.

The sensor has jumped from 24 to 47 megapixels, and while we’re well out of the megapixel race, that creates the opportunity for a very useful cropped shooting mode that lets you shoot at 35, 50, and 75mm equivalents while still capturing huge pixel counts. It keeps the full frame exposure as well so you can tweak the crop later. The new sensor also has a super low native ISO of 50, which should help with dynamic range and in certain exposure conditions.

Autofocus has been redone as well (as you might expect with a new sensor) and it should be quicker and more accurate now. Ther’s also an optical stabilization mode that kicks in when you are shooting at under 1/60s. Both features that need a little testing to verify they’re as good as they sound, but I don’t expect they’re fraudulent or anything.

The body, already a handsome minimal design in keeping with Leica’s impeccable (if expensive) taste, is now weather sealed, making this a viable walk-around camera in all conditions. Imagine paying five grand for a camera and being afraid to take it out in the rain! Well, many people did that and perhaps will feel foolish now that the Q2 has arrived.

Inside is an electronic viewfinder, but the 2015 Q had a sequential-field display — meaning it flashes rapidly through the red, green, and blue components of the image — which made it prone to color artifacts in high-motion scenes or when panning. The Q2, however, has a shiny new OLED display with the same resolution but better performance. OLEDs are great for EVFs for a lot of reasons, but I like that you get really nice blacks, like in an optical viewfinder.

The button layout has been simplified as well (or rather synchronized with the CL, another Leica model), with a new customizable button on the top plate, reflecting the trend of personalization we’ve seen in high-end cameras. A considerably larger battery and redesigned battery and card door rounds out the new features.

As DPReview points out in its hands-on preview of the camera, the Q2 is significantly heavier than the high-end fixed-lens competition (namely the Sony RX1R II and Fuji X100F, both excellent cameras), and also significantly more expensive. But unlike many Leica offerings, it actually outperforms them in important ways: the lens, the weather sealing, the burst speed — it may be expensive, but you actually get something for your money. That can’t always be said of this brand.

The Leica Q2 typifies the type of camera I’d like to own: no real accessories, nothing to swap in or out, great image quality and straightforward operation. I’m far more likely to get an X100F (and even then it’d be a huge splurge) but all that time I’ll be looking at the Q2 with envious eyes. Maybe I’ll get to touch one some day.

After more than 10 years, Flickr frees its login system from Yahoo

Oh joy, oh rapture, unsubdued, Flickr’s login is no longer tied to Yahoo. The photo-sharing platform announced today that it will roll out a new system to members over the next few weeks that doesn’t require a Yahoo ID. This is welcome news to long-time Flickr users who are still bitter over the requirement, introduced in 2007, two years after Yahoo acquired Flickr, that forced everyone to use Yahoo credentials to sign in. Flickr was acquired by SmugMug in April 2018 and since then, a new login has been “the single most requested feature by our community,” according to a post on the company’s blog.

Flickr may no longer have the same clout as it did in the pre-Instagram era, but many users (like me) have been uploading photos to it for years and still use it as an archive for images taken before smartphones became ubiquitous. The Yahoo login system, however, was a lot more tedious than it needed to be, especially if you did not use Yahoo Mail or its other services and constantly forgot your password. Two enormous data breaches of Yahoo accounts made users even more upset that they were tied into a system that they otherwise never used.

Users still have to use their Yahoo credentials until they get access to the new login process. When that happens, they will be allowed to pick a new login email address and new password. That address will be the only one used by their Flickr account for both authentication and emails from the company.

Collector finds treasure after developing hundreds of thousands of film negatives found in the trash

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Thomas Sauvin has spent nearly a decade trawling through film negatives people have thrown away.

The French photography collector buys photographic negatives that are destined for the scrapyard, and brings them back to his studio where he selects, classifies and digitises them.

He has so far developed 750,000 photos over the course of eight years.

Sauvin’s project first started in 2009 when he was travelling around China as a photography collector.

★ 北 ☆ 京 ★ 银 ☆ 矿 ★

A post shared by ★ Beijing Silvermine ☆ 北京银矿 ★ (@beijing_silvermine) on Read more…

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Amazing looping GIFs of waves

The image you see here is a still frame from a splendid cinemagraph—a seamlessly-looping short video or GIF—that does not do the original justice. Atlas Obscura’s Anika Burgess writes on the strange majesty of Ray Collins and Armand Dijcks’ cinemgraphs of waves, where the captured natural beauty becomes weird, even threatening, in the eternally-recurring moment.

“The idea was to stretch out the 1/8000th [of a] second during which the image was created into infinity. In a lot of my work, I like to mess with people’s minds a little, and this contrast between a very short time span being stretched infinitely long, and between motion and stillness is a perfect example of that.”

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Photo-blending app Dubble is back from the dead

 Dubble is officially (re)launching today, in v2, after a year-long hiatus off the app store while the team re-engineered the backend and applied some gloss and community-requested features on the front. We ask co-founder Adam Scott how and why the team has put in so much effort to give a niche photo-blending app a second chance at turning into a self-sustaining community. Read More

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Shots of a passenger ferry going through intense waves are totally real

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Australia’s Sydney Harbour is far from what you’d call the high seas.

But recent windy weather has led to some rocky trips on the Manly passenger ferry, which have also led to some amazing photographs of the challenging waves faced by these commuter boats on Saturday.

Captured by photographer Haig Gilchrist, one particular picture of waves rising higher than the ferry’s short railings looks utterly terrifying. It’s not Photoshop, we swear.

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Snap is developing drone for users to share overhead videos and photos: NYT report

One of the products that Snapchat owner Snap Inc. is developing as “a modern-day camera company” is a drone, reports the New York Times today.

Sources for this bold claim are “three people briefed on the project who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential.”

The drone would help users take videos and photographs from overhead, then share that visual data with Snap, and presumably, other users of the service.

Snap is scheduled to go public later this week in a long-anticipated IPO.
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See the Sistine Chapel like never before in this detailed new photo project

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It’s all in the details.

The Sistine Chapel can now be viewed from a whole new perspective, thanks to a digital photo project that has captured every minute detail of the building.

270,000 photographs were taken during the five-year project, capturing everything from Michaelangelo’s frescoes to the building’s mosaic floor.

Image: Getty Images

Photographers used a 10-metre-high portable scaffold and special telescopic lens in order to capture the images (which are not pictured). The photos are now stored in a Vatican server holding 30 terabytes of information.  Read more…

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Gorgeous shots from circumnavigating Australia, aka “The Big Lap”

Tom Rex Jessett and his fiancee Vanessa tricked out a panel van and drove all the way around Australia, a journey known as The Big Lap.

We spent hours upon hours driving, walked on hundreds of beaches, Watched nearly every sunrise and sunset as well as ate a whole lot of tinned food! 35,000km later we were back where we started, the big lap complete! Here is just a small selection of the photographs I took along the way as memories.

Bonus video: Catherine Lawson and David Bristow take newborn Maya all the way around Highway 1.

I Spent 9 Months Road Tripping The Big Lap Of Australia And Took These Amazing Photos To Remember It! (Tom Rex Jessett)

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Guy promises to eat Jason Segel's photo every day, until Jason Segel returns the favor

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From the “wtf” to “why in the name of” departments, comes a fella who ate a printed photo of Jason Segel, and posted footage of the feat on YouTube.

Not only that, the YouTube user (named Dog Shit, no less) promises to eat one picture of Jason Segel every day — until Jason Segel eats his picture. 

Which picture should Jason Segel eat, you wonder? Perhaps this one

There’s very little in the way of explanation, besides a message saying “I will not stop” and the hashtag #eatmyfacesegel. The YouTube video is currently one of the most popular posts on Reddit, but the uploader offered no additional comments.  Read more…

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Forget Prince George, the Prince of Bhutan is the OG royal baby

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Many people might immediately associate the term “royal baby” with the UK’s Prince George, but we think Bhutan has got a cuter kid in its ranks.

Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck is Bhutan’s youngest royal, who just so happens to be turning 1 on Feb. 5. 

To commemorate the occasion, the Bhutanese website Yellow has made the Crown Prince the cover model for the February edition of its desktop calendar. 

The website promises the photo will “melt your heart,” and with those puffy cheeks, a regal-looking yellow robe and that smile, it sure does. Read more…

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